Fishing on a local outer banks bridge in the fall gives you that special feeling.
Speckled sea trout and puppy drum bites have been off the charts for the past several weeks. The cool crisp air and those intermittent colder breezes remind you that winter is just around the corner. But the urge to fish exceeds the need for comfort.
Throughout the season the catches seemed easy. The warm days allowed the angler to spend hours searching the various holes and points around the pilings for a catch. But now with the unpredictable winds, current and water temperatures, catching becomes a little more challenging.
When the experienced angler first arrives at their fishing spot, they will study the surroundings and conditions.
Some of the questions they will focus on are: what are the water conditions – moving, still, choppy; what is being caught and with what bait and lure; and is there any special going on such as bird activity or bait fish.
Although, all conditions should be observed, the most important focus should be on the water temperatures and movement.
This time of year, moving lures and baits seem to work well. Most fish species face into the current to feed so the lure must pass within noise range or eye sight. But it also must pass them by at a speed not to exceed their energy reserves.
Quarter to one eighth lead heads with or without a rattle is the preferred jig.
There are a variety of swim baits or curly tail plastic baits available and work great but glass minnows seem to be on the Captain’s short list and for me work best.
Colors do matter. Use dark colors in low light and light colors in bright light.
The retrieval must also be varied to allow time for the fish to see or hear the bait and attack it.
No fish swims in a straight line so neither should your bait. Erratic pauses and jerks might indicate a weak or injured prey.
When fishing on one of the outer banks bridges in fall, take everything in before committing to a certain bait. Watch, wait and act.
The experienced angler who uses all their senses during challenging times, will be more successful.
Until next time – Tightlines – Capt. Tony